Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference
37 session of the General Conference His Excellency, Mr Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of Barbados Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings
36 session of the General Conference H.E. Mrs Cécile HUMPHREY, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received
35 session of the General Conference The Hon. Ronald Jones, M.P., Minister of Education and Human Resources Development
“Barbados certainly subscribes to the two overarching global priorities identified: Africa and Gender Equality (…). We nevertheless call on UNESCO to revisit the prioritization of Small Islands Developing States, particularly given the special vulnerabilities of our cultures, structures and sustainability, so devastatingly played out in the oceans of South-East Asia recently.
“(…) The Government of Barbados recognizes the indelible link between education and poverty reduction. Education is the primary vehicle by which economically and socially marginalized youth and adults can break the bonds of poverty. For this reason, Barbados endorses the designation of Technical and Vocational Education and Training as a priority area over the next biennium.”
“Science education is another major strategic thrust of UNESCO which attracts Barbados’ support, given the declining emphasis by students on the pure sciences. (…) Adult education remains a significant interest for my Government.”
“(…) Barbados welcomes the continued focus on the development of the cultural industries and the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage. (…) We look forward to benefiting from activities of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture in synergy with the International Fund for Cultural Diversity.”
“I have noted with great interest that the UNESCO Institute of Statistics will present for ratification a Revised Framework for Cultural Statistics. If we are to move forward, UNESCO must provide the requisite assistance which will enable us to participate fully in the collection of these critically important statistics.”
“(…) I am delighted to say that Barbados is in the process of developing its first nomination, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, for inscription on the World Heritage List. (…) Barbados, like other CARICOM and SIDS countries, has a rich and vibrant heritage, and is deserving of recognition of being of “Outstanding Universal Value”.”
“Barbados is committed to keeping faith with UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy. My country is proud to have recently hosted the ninth meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World Programme (…).”
“Barbados’ involvement in the Memory of the World Programme is evidence of our commitment to preserving the documentary heritage of humankind.”
“The international community has adopted several strategies in recent years, which accelerated development for the world’s poorest countries, not least of which is the Mauritius Strategy (…). These are enabling Small Island Developing States (…) acknowledging our vulnerabilities to the deleterious effects of climate change, in the form of sea level rise and intense hydrometeorological and coastal hazards. Barbados acknowledges the excellent response by UNESCO to these issues which challenge the very survival of small islands, and commends the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for the sound body of marine and coastal scientific knowledge (…). Barbados has demonstrated its continued commitment to addressing such issues with the establishment of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Centre and welcomes the proposed enhancement of the Plan of Action on climate change, through the development of a framework of ethical principles.”
“(…) I take this opportunity to thank the Director-General (…). We offer our deepest congratulations to Madame Irina Bokova.”
34 session of the General Conference H.E. Hon. Anthony Wood, M.P., Minister of Education, Youth Affairs and Sports
Barbados welcomes Montenegro as a new member to UNESCO and congratulates Singapore on its return.
Barbados still needs UNESCO assistance in achieving Education for All goals. For instance, gender disparity in favour of females is a concern for the Caribbean region. Education sector needs a new strategy and teacher training in gender equality. A literacy survey is also required.
Barbados welcomes the launch of the UNESCO Caribbean Education Statistics Capacity-Building Project, supported by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust.
Barbados is pleased with the work of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, but is concerned by the constant reduction in allocation given to this project. It is also important to develop more water management projects in the next biennium.
Barbados seeks to participate in the environmental protection and to harmonize natural and cultural heritage management in the Caribbean region. The country works towards creating a large national park and enhance island’s biodiversity.
Barbados welcomes the adoption of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, that is a key for sustainable development of small island States. It will not only help to preserve multicultural societies, but will also generate economic benefits from cultural industries.
Barbados is especially grateful to the World Heritage Committee for its work in building capacities to face and prevent natural disasters and develop sustainable tourism.
Barbados wants more serious and concrete actions in the framework of the Slave Route Project. Significant acknowledgement should be given to the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 2007.
Barbados is signatory to the International Convention against Doping in Sports and pledges to continue its work in the region in this area.
Barbados is also committed to the eradication of poverty in congruence with the Millennium Development Goals signed by all CARICOM member countries. Globalization poses a major challenge and UNESCO should include this issue in its programmes.
Barbados is planning to strengthen its relationship with UNESCO and its regional offices as well as giving reciprocal support to UNESCO’s own restructuring within the framework of “One UN”.